Trustees' Statement on Student Responsibility and Conduct
So that its position may be understood by all members of the WPI community, the board of trustees issued the following statement after its June 8, 1968, meeting:
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a privately endowed, privately operated university. It was founded, has grown and expanded through the years, with private funds. In accord with its charter, its administration and direction is the responsibility of the board of trustees.
- WPI proudly affirms its belief in and support of the philosophy of individual freedom and responsibility. Academic freedom is not academic license, and the right to criticize and protest is not the right to disrupt or to interfere with the freedom of others.
- WPI believes in a government of laws and not of men. It is the right of any citizen to criticize, to protest and to attempt to change the law in accord with constitutional procedures. No one has the right, however, to disregard or disobey the law even under the excuse of his or her own conscience.
- Students enter WPI voluntarily. They apply, presumably, because they wish to further their education and because they believe WPI, with its traditions and reputation, is capable of advancing their intellectual attainments. Students come to learn, not to demand; to be guided, not to direct. If they do not like some of the rules, regulations, traditions, and policies of WPI, they do not have to enter. But let it be understood that having been accepted and having decided to enter, they are expected to abide by the laws of our nation and comply with rules and policies of WPI. Criticisms and suggestions are always in order and will continue to be welcomed, but threats, disturbances, or force of any kind, either by a single student, a minority or a majority, will not be tolerated.
The reiteration of the above at this time does not indicate any special concern with regard to possible activities on the campus. WPI is proud of its history and traditions. It is proud of its faculty and its student body. Nevertheless, it believes it proper to reemphasize some of these fundamentals in order to reassure its alumni, friends, and supporters, as well as its faculty and students.
Accordingly, the board of trustees formally reiterates that this university offers no sanctuary to any individual or group that condones, advocates, or exercises the taking over of private property or the use of intimidation or physical force. Any who engage in such activities will be held fully responsible, and punishment at this university for such acts will be prompt and sufficient to the cause, including expulsion.